Tag: Internet Retailers

Walmart Suppliers Fighting Back — and That’s Big Trouble

Walmart Suppliers Are Finally Fighting Back
Blood from a stone? Vendors are accusing Wal-Mart of using them to pay for its employees’ increased pay.

Vendors are resisting the retailer’s attempt to impose fees on them. Continue reading “Walmart Suppliers Fighting Back — and That’s Big Trouble”

Online Shoppers Are Rooting for the Little Guy

Mike Stewart boxed up the inventory left over after his going-out-of-business sale at Feather & Fly, a sporting-goods store in Chattanooga Tenn
Mike Stewart boxed up the inventory left over after his going-out-of-business sale at Feather & Fly, a sporting-goods store in Chattanooga Tenn.
Published: January 15, 2012  By STEPHANIE CLIFFORD and 

Harold Pollack used to spend $1,000 a year on Amazon, but this fall started buying from small online retailers instead. The prices are higher, but Dr. Pollack says he now has a clear conscience.

“I don’t feel they behave in a way that I want to support with my consumer dollars,” Dr. Pollack, a professor in Chicago, said of the big Internet retailers.

Giant e-commerce companies like Amazon are acting increasingly like their big-box brethren as they extinguish small competitors with discounted prices, free shipping and easy-to-use apps. Big online retailers had a 19 percent jump in revenue over the holidays versus 2010, while at smaller online retailers growth was just 7 percent.

The little sites are fighting back with some tactics of their own, like preventing price comparisons or offering freebies that an anonymous large site can’t. And in a new twist, they are also exploiting the sympathies of shoppers like Dr. Pollack by encouraging customers to think of them as the digital version of a mom-and-pop shop facing off against Walmart: If you can’t shop close to home, at least shop small.

“Folks are exercising their desire to support local stores where local is not just in their town, but anywhere in the country,” said Michael Walden, a professor who studies regional economics at North Carolina State University. “A large number of Americans have a general suspicion of bigness in the economic world — they equate bigness with power, monopoly.” Continue reading “Online Shoppers Are Rooting for the Little Guy”